Today sees the launch in the UK of two new AUTUMN releases from Gollancz. First up is THE COMPLETE AUTUMN – an ebook only collection of the five AUTUMN novels (Autumn, The City, Purification, Disintegration and Aftermath) available in all major formats: Kindle / iBook / Nook / Kobo / ePub (Waterstones) / ePub (Hive). A great way to get into the series if you haven’t yet read the books. And don’t forget, for full completeness you can also pick up THE HUMAN CONDITION for the bargain price of £1.99!
Also available from today is the mass market paperback edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH (Amazon / Book Depository / Waterstones / Hive / Indiebound). There are a few copies available at www.infectedbooks.co.uk – the Infected Bookstore.
I know many of you are waiting for news about the limited edition AFTERMATH hardcover… it’s coming. I’m sorry it’s taking so long. I’ve been in conversation about it this week and hope to open pre-orders (with a cool little addition for those folks pre-ordering) before the end of October. For those who’ve yet to hear about this project, click this link for more information.
Right, nearly there with my recaps of the AUTUMN series in readiness for the UK release of AFTERMATH next week. Today I’m going to look at the various short stories I’ve written to expand and compliment the overall story over the years.
As I’ve already explained, AUTUMN started small but grew rapidly in size, its cast of characters growing with each new novel. Apart from jumping back in time to the beginning of the outbreak at the beginning of THE CITY, and the parallel events of PURIFICATION and DISINTEGRATION, it’s told in a largely linear way. That’s all well and good, but as I introduced each new character, I found myself wanting to go back and tell their individual backstories. To have done that within the books would have made them unnecessarily complicated, and so I came up with AUTUMN: ECHOES.
Originally appearing online only, these (very) short stories explained what had happened to minor background characters from THE CITY to get them from the end of the world to the city centre university where the survivors had grouped at the beginning of the book. It seemed to work so well I continued and did the same with some of the new characters from PURIFICATION too, and it was while I was putting together the third book that these ECHOES seemed to take on a life of their own. Here’s a brief extract from a scene near to the end of the book:
“Eight weeks ago this had been an intelligent young clothing store department manager with a bright future ahead of her. Now it was a mud-splattered, half-naked, emaciated collection of brittle bone and rotting flesh. Unlike the majority of the seething crowd, however, this one was beginning to exhibit signs of real control and determination. Unlike those which simply stood there vacantly or those which ripped and tore at the other corpses immediately around them, this body was beginning to think.”
Once again, bear with me while I exorcise a few more AUTUMN memories. As with previous instalments, there may be spoilers here…
As I mentioned in last week’s post, by the time I’d finished writing the second AUTUMN novel, I was already plotting the third. THE CITY had opened up the story dramatically, and it was becoming clear to me that by killing off 99% of the population by the end of the first page of the first book, I’d given myself the mother of all blank canvases to work from. That said, AUTUMN: PURIFICATION was originally intended to be the end of the series, and it does bring the story of Michael, Emma and the other original survivors to a conclusion, albeit a temporary one.
THE CITY ended with all the major characters in one place (for the first time), trapped underground, and it would have been easy to write something along the lines of Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD. I knew I wanted to take AUTUMN in a very different direction, though, so I needed to get everyone out of the bunker they’d fought so hard to get into. I’d also started to take a fair amount of flack from people who weren’t at all impressed with my take on zombies. They didn’t like the idea of a zombie story without any flesh eating, divorced from many of the usual clichés of the genre. In response, I wanted to open the third book with a bang, hoping to demonstrate that even though my living dead creatures had started off relatively tame, they were now anything but!
It’s all a bit quiet around here at the moment, and it’s likely to stay that way for the next couple of months. I’m working on a number of new (and old) projects right now, and will let you know what I’m up to just as soon as I’m able. In the meantime, here are a couple of AUTUMN re-releases which came out this week.
Firstly in the UK, Gollancz are continuing their mass market paperback re-releases and we’re now up to AUTUMN: PURIFICATION (or, as my family have christened it, the green one). And in Spain, the mass market edition of CIUDAD ZOMBIE (AUTUMN: THE CITY) is now out. The Spanish editions of the AUTUMN books have gone down really well, so thanks to everyone who picked them up.
Right… back to work. By the way, don’t forget I’ll be at alt.fiction in Leicester this weekend (just in the morning on Saturday, most of the day on Sunday), and I’ll be signing with Wayne Simmons at Waterstones in Cardiff on Saturday 21st. Please come along and say hello.
2012 is certainly shaping up to be a busy year. Less than two weeks in and here’s another new book! Continuing their publication of the AUTUMN series in the UK, Gollancz are today releasing the mass market paperback edition of AUTUMN: THE CITY. It’s available from Amazon, Waterstones, The Book Depository, and all the other usual places.
By the way, apologies to those of you in the UK who’ve had trouble getting hold of AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION since its release at the end of last month. I can’t help feeling a little smug about this – the book sold out! A new printing is underway, and I’ll post here again when it becomes available again. Sincere thanks to everyone who picked it up.
As always, you can find out more about the AUTUMN series over at www.lastoftheliving.net. There’ll be some new free fiction appearing there next week.
As I was working on the final edits for the US edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH recently, it occurred to me that it’s an incredible ten years in November since the free download of AUTUMN was released. It’s also a year since the book’s first ‘official’ release. The success of the series has been really humbling, and completely unexpected. Thanks to all of you who’ve enjoyed and supported the books.
Completely coincidentally, a new mass-market paperback version of AUTUMN has been released in the UK this week by Gollancz (with the rest of the books to follow in this format a year after the hardback releases – next February for THE CITY, April for PURIFICATION etc.).
To celebrate the new edition and the ten year anniversary of the book, I thought it would be a good to share a brand new, previously unpublished AUTUMN short story with you. Have you ever wondered what happened to Michael and Emma in the week or so between the end of the first book and their eventual re-appearance in THE CITY? Head over to www.lastoftheliving.net and read Breaking Point to find out. I hope you enjoy it.
Two more brief stories have just been added to www.lastoftheliving.net. That brings the current total to 24 shorts, and there’s still much more to come. More about that in a minute.
Today’s first story concerns Robert Woolgrave – a young man who makes a few rash decisions in his fight to survive. Read his story first, because Robert also makes an uncredited appearance in today’s second short, the fifth part of the tale of Amy Steadman. She’s been dead for 17 days now, and as you can see from Craig Paton’s excellent illustration, she’s not looking too good! Robert’s story, by the way, is illustrated by a beautiful photograph by Antony White. You’ll see more of Antony’s pictures in the coming weeks, and later in the year I’ll be featuring interviews with all the artists involved with the project on this site.
I thought it would be good to give you a little more detail about what’s planned for www.lastoftheliving.net and the AUTUMN series in general…
If you haven’t already gathered from my other posts this week, I’m off on holiday tomorrow. I’ve added next week’s free Last of the Living story to the website early, and I hope you enjoy it. It’s a brief introduction to Peter Guest – a character who sits in pretty much a catatonic daze throughout Autumn: The City, but who finally comes around from the shock of the apocalypse to play a important role in Autumn: Purification.
There’s loads more to come next month… new short stories (and at least one novella in amongst them) every week in the run-up to the US release of Purification, a very cool AUTUMN competition, and plenty more besides.
Today sees the release by Minotauro of CIUDAD ZOMBIE – the Spanish edition of AUTUMN: THE CITY, the first sequel to AUTUMN (SEPTIEMBRE ZOMBIE in Spain).
Una agresiva enfermedad ha acabado con el noventa y nueve por ciento de la población mundial y ha transformado la faz del planeta. Un pequeño grupo de supervivientes encuentra refugio entre las ruinas de una ciudad devastada. Sobreviven entre los escombros, aterrorizados por los efectos que la horrible infección tiene en los cuerpos de los muertos. La repentina aparición de una compañía desoldados vuelve a amenazar la frágil existencia de los supervivientes. ¿Traerán con ellos esperanza, ayuda y respuestas, o tan sólo más miedo y sufrimiento?
«¡Regocijaos, fans de los zombies! Una de las más originales novelas de muertos vivientes ha salido de la tumba para recordarnos lo que realmente significa tener un asiento de primera fila en el fin del mundo. Ciudad Zombie es escalofriante, un estudio sociológico de lo que ocurre cuando los muertos vuelven y de lo que debemos hacer para sobrevivir.»
I thought it would be useful to list the new releases I have coming up for the rest of 2011 because there are quite a few. As always, please remember that these dates may be subject to change. You can always check my regularly updated FAQ page for the most up-to-date information.
And there will be an anthology appearance or two and, I think, several more foreign language editions to add to this list. So it’s looking like a busy year, and I’m really pleased. I know lots of people have been waiting for AUTUMN: DISINTEGRATION and THEM OR US for far too long…